Identifying high-risk behavior helps save lives
Fort Bliss, TX — While assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Directorate of Mobilization and Deployment, Pfc. Jason Radley’s heroic actions demonstrated selfless service and possibly saved the life of a Soldier who allegedly overmedicated on sleeping pills and had consumed a high amount of alcohol.
Radley’s actions earned him his first Army Achievement Medal Jan. 29.
On the eve of Jan. 18, Radley, along with three other Soldiers, Spc. Luis Ortiz, Pfc. Chet Flynn and Pfc. Mario Lopez, displayed personal resolve and unwavering commitment to the Soldier’s Creed. In the barracks where Radley and his fellow Soldiers reside, they noticed a troubled Soldier was missing. Two empty bottles of sleeping pills were found in the troubled Soldier’s room that were filled four days prior.
“I could tell that [he] had been drinking and was displaying strange behavior,” said Radley.
The barracks where the Soldiers reside consists of mobilizing and demobilizing Guardsmen and Reservists and Soldiers on medical or administrative hold.
“In the absence of unit cohesion, anyone could have walked by and done nothing,” said Maj. Daniel S. Gray, DoMaD HHC Commander. “Instead, four junior enlisted Soldiers recognized there was a problem and did something.”
Radley and the other Soldiers demonstrated their dedication to the Army values by searching for the Soldier to ensure his safety. Radley and the search group located the Soldier in an old motor pool a few blocks away. The Soldier was in urgent need of psychological care. Radley’s calm demeanor, professionalism and ability to think quickly were instrumental to the successful intervention, which could have ended with tragic results if the Soldier had further harmed himself or others.
“My take as a medic is that Radley’s actions potentially saved the Soldier’s life,” said Sgt. 1st Class Terrance L. Kinard, a medic assigned to HHC DoMaD. “He very well could have overdosed.”
Radley said the Soldier admitted to him a few days before the incident that he was on medical hold for being suicidal and having a drinking problem.
“Once someone told me that he was acting strange and had been drinking a lot, I thought, ‘Well this just can’t add up together.’ I felt like it was my duty to check on him,” said Radley.
Soldiers depend on battle-buddies to watch each other, both on and off the battle field. In maintaining the highest level of readiness, Soldiers must understand the types of situations that can have an impact on their families, units, the Army, and most importantly, themselves.
“In the end, he admitted that he just wanted some help,” said Radley.
Readiness is a team effort and that night those Soldiers worked together to help a teammate.
“Of the four Soldiers, three of them are military policemen, validating the training they received at Advanced Individual Training, the training they received in their unit and during their mobilization really paid off,” said Maj. Gray. “That was the driving force on making sure these guys got recognized for doing the right thing.”
All the Soldiers involved were awarded an Army Achievement medal; however, several were not present to receive their awards at the DoMaD ceremony because they have been released from active duty and returned home.